Photo edit of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Popacta.
The recent visits of Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Iowa have ignited speculation about the 2024 Republican nomination race. DeSantis, who has been gaining momentum as a potential candidate, delivered speeches promoting his “Florida blueprint” and cultural wars crusade, while Trump used social media to target DeSantis ahead of his visit. The two events have made Iowa a potentially crucial state in the nomination race, with both men trying to win over the state’s influential Republican voters.
Although Trump remains the most influential figure in the Republican Party and the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential nomination field, polls suggest that DeSantis is his biggest threat. Trump criticized DeSantis’ record on social security, Medicare, and farmers on social media, while DeSantis attracted a healthy crowd in Davenport, Iowa, during his first stop in the state, signing books and taking selfies with the enthusiastic audience.
DeSantis’ visit to Iowa could be a signal that he is likely to launch his own presidential campaign later this year, as sources in his political circle suggest that advisers have reached out to Iowa-based Republican operatives about potentially joining the governor’s team. In contrast, Trump already has a leadership team in place in Iowa, including Eric Branstad, who served as state director of Trump’s 2020 re-election and is back as a senior adviser on the 2024 campaign.
Following DeSantis taking photos with people, signing books, and having a half hour long meet-and-greet before his speech in Davenport, Iowa, Trump took to Truth Social saying:
“Very small crowds for Ron DeSanctimonious in Iowa. He’s against Farmers, Social Security, and Medicare, so why would people show up – other than Fake stories from the Fake News!”
DeSantis would when responding the Trump’s comments, saying:
“There’s no drama in our administration,” DeSantis said. “There’s no palace intrigue.”
As the Republican nomination battle heats up, the Trump-DeSantis matchup raises the question of who is more electable or who may lead the Republican/Conservative party in the most favorable direction in 2024. With both men targeting Iowa, their competing events could be a split-screen preview of things to come in the Republican nomination race. However, it is clear that the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination is already underway, and only time will tell which candidate will come out on top.